In an interview with President Barack Obama on Sunday night, CBS News anchor Scott Pelley asked if the Boy Scouts of America should end their ban on gays? President Obama answered in one word; Yes. The Boy Scouts of America national leadership is scheduled to consider lifting their long-time national ban on the participation of gay men and youth in the Boy Scouts of America organization. the proposal being considered would allow civic and religious organizations that sponsor scouting units to make that determination locally.
When Pelley asked the President to explain why he said:
“My attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does, in every institution and walk of life.”
“The Scouts are a great institution that are promoting young people and exposing them to opportunities and leadership that will serve people for the rest of their lives,” Mr. Obama continued, “And I think nobody should be barred from that.”
Mr. Obama also commented on the recent decision by the Pentagon to lift the ban on women in combat. “Women as a practical matter are now in combat,” he explained. “They may not get treated as if they’re in combat, but when they’re in theater, in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, they are vulnerable, they are wounded, and they’ve been killed. And they have carried out their jobs with extraordinary patriotism and distinction.”
“And I meet extraordinary women in uniform who can do everything that a man can and more,” Mr. Obama continued. “One of my military aides is about five feet tall, probably weighs about 100 pounds. You put a 50-pound pack on her and she can do things that you or me would keel over doing.”
Women “are taking great risks,” he said. “What we should not do is somehow prevent them from advancing in an institution that we all revere.”
Here is the clip of his comments on women serving in combat followed by his comments on gays serving in the Boy Scouts of America.